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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of North Carolina

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Army Soldier Sentenced For Theft Of Military Property

RALEIGH – The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina announced that today in Federal court, Chief United States District Judge James C. Dever III sentenced CHRISTOPHER A. MANN, 33, of Hampton, Virginia to 20 months imprisonment and ordered him to pay $940,460 in restitution to the United States Army.  On May 4, 2016, MANN pleaded guilty to a Criminal Information charging him with one count of theft of government property and aiding and abetting.

"The U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command (USACIDC) is pleased with today's sentencing," said Frank Robey, director of the Major Procurement Fraud Unit for USACIDC.  "Our special agents go to great lengths to identify and help bring to justice those who think they can rip off the U.S. Government at will.  We will continue to aggressively investigate these criminal acts with all assets at our disposal."

 "Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS) Special Agent in Charge John F. Khin, Southeast Field Office, commented, "This former Non-Commissioned Officer assigned as a Supply Sergeant in an elite military unit stole essential supplies and equipment from his unit for personal profit, betraying his position of trust, the military code of conduct, and his fellow Soldiers.  Corruption and theft on this large scale undermines the integrity of the Department of Defense, wastes precious American taxpayer dollars, and severely degrades the ability of our Warfighters to conduct combat missions."

“These former soldiers utilized their positions as public officials to steal supplies and equipment for their personal financial gain.  Offenses such as these not only cost the Army precious resources, but also cost the taxpayer.  The FBI will continue to work with its investigative partners to combat this corruption,” said John Strong, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in North Carolina.

 According to the charges on file, the government’s factual proffer at the plea hearing, and other public information, MANN was a sergeant assigned to the United States Army Special Operations Command at Fort Bragg.  During the offense period, MANN worked as a unit supply specialist in the 98th Civil Affairs Battalion, C Company, with responsibility for ordering military supplies and equipment that was the property of the United States Department of Defense.  Between approximately October 2010 and March 2013, MANN systematically abused his position to coordinate the theft of bulk quantities of government property from Fort Bragg.  The stolen property, valued at nearly $1 million, consisted of Meals-Ready-to-Eat or “MREs” and assorted military equipment, including weapon sights, knives, and sunglasses.  As part of the scheme, MANN generated false and fraudulent requisition memoranda intended to make it appear as if his unit needed the property to train and carry out its mission.  In fact, MANN would transport the stolen property off the base to black market purchasers in and around Fayetteville who would buy the items for cash. 

Two of MANN’s co-conspirators, Joseph Horner and John McCaa, have entered guilty pleas in related cases and are awaiting sentencing in United States District Court.  According to the charges on file, and the government’s factual proffers at their respective plea hearings, Horner was a civilian black market purchaser in Fayetteville to whom MANN routinely sold stolen MREs and other military property which was obtained through the theft scheme.  McCaa was a civilian contractor for the Department of Defense who, at the time, was working for the Special Forces dining facility where he was responsible for processing MRE requests from MANN’s unit.  In this capacity, McCaa facilitated the MRE theft scheme by authorizing the Army’s release of over 1,700 cases of MREs that he knew had been fraudulently requested by MANN.  McCaa further arranged for MANN to sell a portion of the stolen MREs to McCaa’s contacts in black market transactions off base.

Investigation of this case was conducted by the United States Army Criminal Investigation Command, Major Procurement Fraud Unit, the Defense Criminal Investigative Service, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  Assistant United States Attorney Adam F. Hulbig prosecuted the case on behalf of the government.

Updated October 26, 2016